By Neil Halligan
Indian gov't is also looking to improve education, training for workers to give them more opportunities back home
The Ministry of Labour has announced a pilot project to train 2,500 labourers in their own country before coming to work in the construction sector in the UAE.
The workers will be recruited randomly from major labour-sending countries like India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and will be trained to work for national enterprises.
Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, said the workers’ skills will be assessed while in the UAE.
“Participants involved in the project will also be tested during their stay in the country to document additional gained skills in their new workplace, to facilitate employment within national facilities with trained and qualified manpower, which will positively affect the national labour market and both sides of the production process,” he said.
The project, which will take about two years to conclude, is due to be implemented by both the UAE and Kuwait as a regional initiative.
Meanwhile, an Indian politician has said the government is looking to build a future for labourers in their home country.
Yashwant Sinha, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), said India’s unskilled workforce will be given the necessary education and vocational training so they won't have to work in Gulf countries in low-paid jobs.
Indians make up the largest proportion of expat workers in the UAE, at 2.2 million people, with 65 percent of those employed as labourers.
Speaking to 7Days newspaper, Sinha said if Indian workers are given the skills, they would have more opportunities in their home country.
“The painful part is the plight of unskilled labourers. They are not getting enough work.
“People who have skills can go anywhere else in the world and work. But unskilled labourers are forced to leave because they don’t have employment opportunities at home [in India],” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the PAN IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Gulf Summit in Dubai.
Great idea. What a good initiative. Gets around all those horrible bogus recruitment agencies over there as well as offering a real opportunity of work. Nice one.